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Date: March 24, 2012
Region: 2012 East Region
Tournament: Lake Sam Rayburn #3
Tournament Trail: 2012 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Hollingsworth & Hunt win over $26,000 at Bass Champs on Sam Rayburn with 25.05 lbs
By: Patty Lenderman

Skeeter Bass Champs tournament trail held its 3rd of five East Texas division events on Sam Rayburn on March 24, 2012. Nearly 450 anglers came to fish for a part of $61,450 up for grabs in cash and prizes for the top 28 teams. Rick Hollingsworth and Eric Hunt brought in over 25 pounds to win the highly coveted and guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check. They cashed in on a whole lot more, going home with over $26,000.

It had been a gorgeous week and continued thru tournament weekend. With temps in the 80’s some of the first sun burns of the year were seen at weigh in. Sam Rayburn is in excellent shape as recent rains still continue to pump more water in to Big Sam, opening all boat launches on the lake and nearing full pool.

The elevating lake levels and muddy to murky water had contenders scrambling to find bass. They too are on the move, some still in pre-spawn, many others in post spawn and trying to transition with the lake levels themselves.

Hollingsworth & Hunt had located about five different spots to hit during the tournament. They started out at a ditch, lined with brush and grass. “We fished the edge of the ditch, starting shallow in the morning about 3’-4’ deep with a watermelon red Senko.” The day did not start out right for them, as they broke off their first fish – and it was a nice one. “We stayed there and put a limit together. They were really biting good and we caught a lot of fish.” They had a decent limit by 11:30, then left that spot to try a few others. They needed a kicker. “After trying some of those other spots, we decided to head back to our first area.” It was a good call. At 2:00 Eric got the bite they needed. He landed their kicker, weighing 8.72 lbs! “That was our last cull of the day.” Their kicker ended up winning Big Bass of the tournament for $1,000. Adding the rest of their limit to the scales, they had 25.05 lbs for a 1st place win! Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed 1st place check for $20,000. They were also fishing out of a qualified Skeeter Boat and won that bonus for an additional $5,000. Their total winnings were $26,200. Not bad for a day on the lake! “We would really like to thank our families. They always support and encourage us.”

Timothy Griffin fished alone in this event, and won 2nd place with a 21.94 lb limit. “This time of year I usually fish humps on Rayburn. This time I stayed on a point that staged from 16’ to 10’, all the way to 5’ deep.” His day started out well. Fishing with a crank bait, he caught two very nice ones early on. “After I caught those, I caught an amazing number of little ones!” Changing baits to a Carolina rigged magnum finesse worm, he backed out to a little deeper water, 5’-8’. “I found that the smaller fish were in less than 4’ of water. Once I started fishing deeper, I started catching better fish again.” The area he stayed in was a 200 yard long stretch. “It was just a big drain. All the fish I caught looked like they had already spawned.” His kicker was a close contender for Big Bass, weighing 8.39 lbs. Tim won the 2nd place check for $5,000.

3rd place was won by Rusty Clark and Cory Rambo with an 18.75 lb limit. “We didn’t do anything special, just grinded it out.” They picked one spot and stuck to it all day using ‘old faithful’ Carolina rigs. “It was a staging point, 8’-11’ deep. Rusty caught our first solid fish, about 4 pounds, at 9:00. We already had several smaller fish in the livewell.” At noon, things heated up as Cory added a 5 pounder and three over 3 pounds to their limit. “We probably culled 10 times today. It was a good day.” They won $3,000 for their 3rd place finish and would like to thank Ranger boats, Golden Triangle Industries, Castaway rods and G& G.

Top Teams:
1st $26,200 25.05 lbs Rick Hollingsworth & Eric Hunt
2nd $ 5,000 21.94 lbs Timothy Griffin
3rd $ 3,000 18.75 lbs Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo
4th $ 2,000+ 18.51 lbs Chase Ulery & Destin McKay
5th $ 1,200 18.12 lbs Bill Hudspeth & Ricky Potts
6th $ 1,090 17.28 lbs Brent Broussard & Todd Castledine
7th $ 1,080 16.56 lbs Jerry Silmon & Brett Hortman
8th $ 1,070 16.54 lbs Stan Burgay & Steve Burgay
9th $ 1,060 16.41 lbs Jimmy Sorter & Gerald Granger
10th $ 1,050 Bob Vote & Andy Vote
and last in the money
28th $ 600 13.01 lbs Danny Cherry & Buddy Bumstead

Big Bass $1,000 8.72 lbs Rick Hollingsworth & Eric Hunt

THOUSANDS of dollars were awarded thru Sponsor Incentives! It PAYS to find out how to cash in on them!

Skeeter Bonus $5,000 Rick Hollingsworth & Eric Hunt
Costa Del Mar $ 200 Rick Hollingsworth & Eric Hunt
Dodge Ram Bonus Chase Ulery & Destin McKay

Tournament Statistics:
Total Entries: 221 Teams
Total Collected: $57,460
Total Payback (C&P): $61,450
Payback Percentage: 107%
Total weight: 1182.88 lbs
Average weight: 2.31 lbs

With only one tournament left for the East Texas division, the Angler of the Year race is too close to call. The top five points leaders are:

661 pts Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo
656 pts Jerry Silmon & Brett Hortman
644 pts Glenn Robertson & Chad Cole
623 pts Chris McCall & Mike Freck
617 pts John Salamone & Ray Beck

The final East Texas division tournament will be held June 16 on Lake Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion.

The Dodge Mega Bass tournament is April 1st on Lake Fork! A NEW Dodge truck will be won each hour! One lucky cast – one good hookset – one fish could win you a brand new truck. Sign up now!

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